A Case for Reliability

Even today too many industry leaders do not see the clear case for investing in maintenance and reliability.  Within the reliability community, the message IS clear; cost-cutting and reducing resources as a means to improve performance can be fatal. No one has ever cost cut themselves to World Class.

An older study, yet still relevant today, conducted by Solomon Associates in 1994 in the refining industry concluded the following*… 

  • Improved reliability is unrelated to maintenance spending
  • Highest cost performers are very reactive and repair focused
  • The best performers required fewer expenditures for higher mechanical reliability
  • The best performers view recurring failures as unacceptable

It is fairly easy to understand: high reliability equates to lower operating costs.  To achieve higher reliability performance requires improvement on the following key elements of an effective asset maintenance management system:

´    Work Order Control

´    Materials Management

´    Work Planning and Scheduling

´    Effective Leadership

´    Preventive Maintenance

´    Predictive Maintenance

´    Proactive Maintenance

´    Reliability Engineering

´    Failure Analysis

´    Craft Training

´    Information Management (CMMS)

´    Cost Control

´    Health, Safety, Environmental Process

´    Motivated Workforce

´    Contractor Management

´    Continuous Improvement

´    Performance Metrics

How does your organization currently perform in the above key elements?

Improving these areas/elements is no small challenge, but it is one that is worth undertaking (as all reliability-believers know). Above all, leadership, strategy and perseverance are required to initiate and sustain a reliability improvement effort. For those about to embark on an initiative, focus first on the small wins to build support.  Once you have turned some skeptics into believers you can begin to think about tackling some of the larger aspects.

Build your case for reliability today! 

* “Practices that Reduce Refinery Maintenance Spending”,
R. Ricketts, Solomon Assoc., Oil and Gas Journal, July 4, 1994

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